Obituary: Marvin Lee 'Goose' Goslin / KDKA sports reporter passionate about radio

Aug. 27, 1949 - Oct. 12, 2013


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Marvin Lee Goslin was better known simply as "Goose," the baritone-voiced, passionate sports reporter for two decades on KDKA Radio.

Mr. Goslin, 64, of Scott left the airways in 2003 and embarked on ventures including real estate, radio advertising, a Christmas tree farm and, as an avocation, singing. In recent years, he devoted himself to the care of his wife of 24 years, Shelley, who has been ill.

On Saturday, he was having trouble breathing and drove himself to St. Clair Hospital, where he collapsed and died of a heart attack.

Those who knew him mourned the loss of a local radio celebrity who was as gregarious and likable off the air as he was on it.

"In his reports, he always nailed the facts right, but he always tried to put in a little bit of humor and levity that made the reports entertaining. He had a personality, a passion for radio," said Michael Young, senior vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Pittsburgh.

"As a person, he was just a lot of fun to be around. He always was humorous, he was never down and was just one of those people who was always up."

From 1983 through 2003, Mr. Goslin served as sports director, sportscaster and show host on KDKA Radio following three years on KQV. During his time at KDKA, he was a member of the "K Team," the popular drive-time morning show with John Cigna and, at times, Fred Honsberger, both now deceased.

"I think the biggest compliment I can give is ... they were characters. I say that with an amazing amount of admiration and respect," Mr. Young said. "That's what made guys like Goose and Cigna and Honsberger bigger than life. They had what you can't teach, a passion to inform and entertain."

Tom McMillan, former Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and now Penguins vice president of communications, got to know and become good friends with Mr. Goslin. He said Mr. Goslin was both a reporter and a fan, particularly when it came to the Pens.

"During this one game, Mario [Lemieux] was getting beaten up and Goose was so upset he marched into then-general manager Eddie Johnston's office and yelled something like, 'You have to get someone to protect him!'

"That was just Goose," Mr. McMillan said, chuckling. "Anyone else would have gotten in trouble. It underscored the kind of relationship he had with players and coaches.

"He was a huge talent. He was a dominant media member of his era, among the pre-eminent Pittsburgh sports media people."

Mr. Goslin had a quality baritone singing voice and sang the national anthem at 100-plus Penguins games, a dozen or so Pirates games, and a couple of Steelers games. Once, before a Pens game with a team from Canada, he sang part of the Canadian national anthem in French -- or so many thought. "Mario told him, 'Goose, you had no idea of what you were singing,' " Mr. McMillan recalled.

Mr. McMillan said Mr. Goslin, who did Penguins pre-game shows, helped sow the seeds of the team's fan base. "The popularity was built on the shoulders of guys like Goose who were there when the team and sport weren't really popular."

Mr. McMillan and Mr. Goslin shared a passion for Civil War history and often traveled together to Gettysburg.

Mr. Goslin graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. As a student there, he got the head football coach's permission to go through spring drills with the team, a la George Plimpton. Using the pseudonym "Lumps Galore," he wrote about his experiences for The Penn, the school's student newspaper.

For five consecutive years, he was recognized with the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcast Award.

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honored him for "meritorious service" while covering the conference's student athletes, coaches and teams for the 13 years he did radio play-by-play for IUP football games.

Mr. Goslin may have passed on his broadcasting passion to his daughter, Jennifer, a 20-year-old senior communication major at West Virginia University. "I'd go to the station with him and it seemed like a lot of fun," she said. "It seemed like something I would want to do."

No matter what venture Mr. Goslin was involved with, his passion for broadcasting never waned, she said. "He said it every day. No matter what he got into, radio was his one love, the one thing he truly wanted to do."

In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by a brother, Robert L. of Irwin.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today at Warchol Funeral Home, 3060 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, where a service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

obituaries

Michael A. Fuoco: mfuoco@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1968. First Published October 14, 2013 8:00 PM


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